Monday, February 27, 2017

What's on our Plate: Weekly Meal Plan [4]

Another weekend has come and gone?  And for once, I can totally believe that we are at the end of another month.  This weather makes me feel like March has already been here for a couple of weeks, not that February is just getting ready to end.

We're also getting over colds in the TFT house this week.  I don't know where I picked it up, but I was patient 0 over here beginning last Monday afternoon.  I had a scratchy throat during the day and thought that I might be coming down with something, but there was also a lot of smoke in the air from a nearby fire and so I thought it could be that too.  Fast forward to about 5:15 pm and I was standing over the oven cooking dinner and was almost overcome with a feeling of weakness.  Hubs was kind enough to finish dinner, I ate a little bit with the family and promptly went to bed with a fever and feeling all kinds of gross.  (I was also really nervous that perhaps I had picked up the flu.)

All of that transpired into lots of coughing and congestion with hubs and I that has lasted the whole week, but is thankfully mostly gone.  Little had a runny nose for a few days, but has been fine other than that...and teething.  He has two more teeth coming in that seem to be giving him quite the trouble.

All of that is to say that sometimes, things don't go as planned.  We skipped storytime at the library and small group at our house to avoid sharing our germs.  Hubs worked late one night so he didn't eat dinner at home and one day in a rush, he forgot his lunch at home.  So we didn't cook everything on our meal plan last week.  In fact, we only made three of the things - and had leftovers the rest of the week.  

Just a reminder that making plans doesn't put anything in concrete.  It just helps guide what you'd like to do and helps think through a shopping list and meal prep.  It never hurts to be prepared.  

We're really hoping to kick this crud totally to the curb this week.  We didn't make it to church yesterday just to be totally sure not to share our germs.  Little plays with lots of other kids at church and even though we certainly feel on the mend, we don't want to take chances.  Especially with small children and in the middle of cold season.  

We're also hoping to get back to our regularly scheduled events calendar - playground, storytime, friends, and normal naps this week.  

Sunday: Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese - which was DELICIOUS, by the way.  I"ll post about it soon.  :)
Tuesday: Baked Spaghetti
Wednesday: Taco night
Thursday: BBQ chicken - maybe.  I'm kind of undecided about Thursday night. 
Friday: Homemade Pizza - because it's my favorite thing on Friday nights.  

Finally, as a little fun fact for you this week - Hubs and I started dating on February 29, 2008 so tomorrow kind of marks the 9 year anniversary of that!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

For everything a season

My uncle recently passed away.  I spent a lot of time at the hospital in the days leading up to it with family and as we left the hospital room when everything was over and walked down the hallway, I was reminded of how there truly is a season for everything.  

Here we were walking down the hallway crying.  We had just said goodbye to a loved one.  But, as I watched other people going by with their day, I remembered that on that same day, even in the same moment when we were overcome by sadness and grief that there were still others that we in the same hospital that we welcoming new life and celebrating healing and wellness.  Sadness and joy.  Mourning and celebration.  All happening simultaneously right before me.  

And isn't this how life is?  This dance that just keeps right on going between all these things.  Sadness and joy, death and life, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing.  All of it.  Together. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

What's on our plate: Weekly Meal Plan [3]

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing weekend.  Hubs has off of work today, we we are pumped to have an extra day at home with him!  This weekend was packed full - we traveled to my hometown on Saturday for my Uncle's funeral, which was sad but also really nice to see so many of my relatives in one place. 

The weather was perfect the whole weekend though - 70s and sunny.  Unseasonably warm for February, but my favorite, so I didn't complain one little bit.  We played outside as much as we could, I got fun new pillows for our front porch bench, and we got some work done around the house.  It's good to start the week feeling prepared. 

I thought that I would change things up a little with these meal plan posts after realizing that I've titled all of them "What's on our plate", and use these posts for a little bit of a life update and looking forward to the week.  I'll be sharing some of what's on our plates for the week not just as it relates to food - although because we work hard to meal plan consistently, it will always include food.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day Recap 2017

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing Valentine's Day yesterday.  We had a great time over here; we didn't do anything fancy, but we did spend the whole day indulging in little treats that we all love!

Little and I started our day at the library for some storytime followed by a quick trip to our favorite donut place for some sweet treats.  (He knows how to say donut now and may or may not have been asking for them all week.)

Lucky for me (perhaps a little Valentine's gift), Little took a wonderful, easy two hour nap once we got home and had a late lunch of heart shaped quesadillas.  I was way too excited about these, but he loved them.  I just used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut the tortilla shells before cooking.  So easy and sweet.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope that you feel loved today and that you choose to share love with those around you. 

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays.  I think it is because there are so many things that I love - family, friends, chocolate, and the list could go on.  We're keeping things simple around here today, although if you follow me on Instagram, you may or may not see a little heart shaped quesadilla that Little is having for lunch.  I can't even tell you how much I've been looking forward to that.  :)

Also, we gave those cookies out to our neighbors.  It was a fun way to treat our neighbors and it was totally unexpected.  

Do you enjoy Valentine's Day?  Tell me about your plans in the comments!

Monday, February 13, 2017

What's on our plate: Weekly meal plan [2]

Forgive the tardiness of this post, friends.  This weekend was a little roller coaster for our family and I'm catching up this week.  My uncle is in the hospital and so we were there quite a bit and traveled to visit my in-laws for family birthday celebrations.  The celebrations were fun, but the hospital wasn't.  I spent lots of time in a car, my first night away from my Little, and managed to get a whopping three hours of sleep on Sunday morning before heading back down to rejoin my in-laws.  My uncle is still in the hospital currently on comfort care only and it is just really sad.  

I don't have a ton to say about it on the blog because so much of the hard things about this deal with family and I want to be respectful and sure not to broadcast everyone else's stories here.  But, it is hard and sad and exhausting.  We would love your prayers for peace and comfort and rest during this time. 

That said, we are still cooking around here and taking time to meal plan is a part of my regular routine anyway so I want to be sure to share it with you all.  (These lists are not only a way to tell what we're eating for dinner, but also a reminder to me of all the things I need to take photos of to share with you so you can throw these easy meals together for your family also.)  I want to encourage you that meal planning doesn't have to be so difficult.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Craft Playdate

Can you believe that Valentine's Day is less than a week away?  This year is really flying by and I'm not so sure what I think about that yet.  

I've been letting Little experiment around home some with arts and crafts recently.  He's really into coloring, painting, and stickers and so I knew that I wanted to do a Valentine's Day themed craft with him.  Valentine's is one of my favorite holidays and so I knew I wanted to do something fun.  And then, because I cannot help myself, I decided that I would make our crafting into a whole little event and invite over some other mom friends and their littles to join in on the fun.  And just like that our little playdate was on the calendar.  

I really enjoy hosting people at our home and I have been wanting to have people over during the week so this was the perfect opportunity.  Last year, I discovered a great way for me to organize and plan for little parties like this (which I'll share in a separate post) that allow me to put these events together quickly and without too much stress.  For our playdate, we had 4 other moms and 5 other toddlers so six kids in all.  

I had several foam heart stickers stashed in my craft closet and used a plastic tray for holding all of our supplies.  The Valentine's stickers were from Michael's the week before Valentine's Day.  They were just $1 for a little book of stickers and they were on sale for 40% off.  Naturally, I grabbed them and am excited to have them on hand for next year's crafts as well.  I also cut everything before kids arriving because I do not want anyone running around here with scissors.  Here was our set up at our kitchen table: 

I planned to make tissue paper hearts with the youngest kids (less than 2) and had love bugs prepared for the older kids with toilet paper rolls (see the sweet little love bug in the background here?).

Monday, February 6, 2017

What's on our plate: Weekly Meal Plan [1]

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing weekend!  Did you watch the Super Bowl?  Tell me all your favorite commercials.  What did you think of the half time show?  

I'll be honest, I didn't pay that much attention this season and I'm not a huge fan of either of the teams in the big game this year, so I opted to not make such a big deal about the game yesterday.  We traveled back to my hometown on Saturday to visit my parents and to celebrate a first birthday for my best friend from high school's son.  He is so precious and we loved to be able to celebrate with them.  But on Sunday, I wanted to mostly relax. So we did.

We stayed put at home after church, took advantage of the sunny and mild weather by playing outside and working in the yard, and did some prep for this week.  One of the things that we do [mostly] each week is make sure we have a meal plan in place.  Not only does this save us money, but it eliminates SO much stress during the week as I already know what to expect in terms of cooking each day so I am better prepared.  

I've thought about sharing our meal plans for a while on here, but to be honest, we don't cook anything super fancy and I don't have beautiful photos to go along with it.  But, I think that's most of us and I love to see what other people are eating for a little bit of inspiration.  I hope to share some of the recipes that we use as well as some of the meal planning tips along the way.  (I'll also try to take some photos along the way to show you what we're eating.)

Sunday: Chicken and Bacon Pasta
Monday: Tacos
Tuesday: Crockpot BBQ chicken with Hawaiian Rolls
Wednesday: Chicken Nuggets with Mac & Cheese
Thursday:  Cheese Burger sliders
Friday: Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

I always keep frozen veggies on hand and fruit in the fridge for sides and those change sometimes.  I also try to cook things for dinner that will have at least one meal left over for hubs to take to work the next day so I take that into account when deciding on what to cook when.

What are you eating this week?  I always like to find new, simple recipes for our family so please send me what you like.

I'm planning to post some of these recipes in the future.  Meal planning has been so helpful in our family and even more so now that we have a little.  It is way too easy to grab something out when we don't have a plan.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Kind words are like honey

I was in a coffee shop recently and overheard a lady say to the cashier, “I'm back with my complicated drink order that you always mess up.” At first I thought it must be a joke.  Maybe she knew the cashier and was kidding around.  I quickly realized that it wasn't though and when she left all of the baristas began to share stories of trying to avoid this customer and of her frequent complaints. Now, I did not hear the actual drink order so I have no idea how difficult it actually was.  Nor do I know how badly it was messed up that day or any of the previous days.  It is quite possible that it was a frequent thing and I'm sure if the lady is paying for her coffee, she wants it to taste the way she likes it.  Finally, she didn't use a rude tone of voice and didn't leave angry.  But it was clear when she left that her words had been noticed by the employees and they certainly didn't make them feel valued or appreciated.

And I thought how many times do I do this same thing?  How many times do I make small remarks (even sometimes jokingly) that belittle or criticize those around me?  One example sticks out vividly in my mind.